UPDATE: Facebook Breaches EU Laws By Tracking Without Proper Consent

April 07, 2015


Researchers from the Centre of Interdisciplinary Law and ICT (ICRI) and the Computer Security and Industrial Cryptography department (Cosic) at the University of Leuven reported that Facebook tracks all visitors in its domain whether they are logged in or not.

The research claims that Facebook tracks users by placing cookies on their computers when they visit any page in the facebook.com domain, including fan pages or other pages that do not require a Facebook account to visit. This tracking occurs even when a user visits third-party sites that use one of Facebook’s social plug-ins.

“We collect information when you visit or use third-party websites and apps that use our services. This includes information about the websites and apps you visit, your use of our services on those websites and apps, as well as information the developer or publisher of the app or website provides to you or us.” – Facebook policy

EU law requires companies to ask for consent when tracking, which Facebook doesn’t. The law requires websites to notify users on their first visit to a site that it uses cookies and to request consent to use cookies. Facebook users can opt out of ad tracking; however, according to Article 29, the pan-European data regulating party, this isn’t an adequate mechanism to obtain an average user’s informed consent.

People who are concerned with their privacy and want to protect it can use many apps to protect their privacy, such as SearchLock, which is always available to help anonymize searches.

UPDATE: It seems that Facebook had a “bug” in their system that made it place cookies on people eve if they didn’t visit their website to sign in and track them.

To read more, click here.